Meet Rita Buettner:

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” After struggling with infertility, my husband and I were blessed to adopt our two sons from China. I’m a working mother who writes about family fun and faith. Oh, and I own hundreds of flyswatters. Join me on Twitter, say hello at openwindowcr@gmail.com, or follow me on Facebook

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Thank you, Allison! You are much too kind! I had seen the idea of picking a person to pray for every day on another blog and LOVED it!

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YOu always come up with the greatest ideas!! Those lucky boys!! #RockStarMom

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7 Quick Takes: A dog party, walking barefoot through the snow, crab cookies, sloppy joes for St. Joseph, and more


~1~

Last weekend Daniel had two birthday parties in one day. In keeping with my tradition of homemade cards, I took two chocolate chip granola bars and made a 7 on a folded piece of construction paper for the first one.

The second one was a dog party, but Daniel didn’t like the dog I cut out, and he didn’t seem interested in making one himself. So I decided we would go with simplicity.




It might be my favorite card yet.

~2~

My goddaughter, who turns 1 year old in just a few weeks—I know! I can’t believe it either!—is into animal sounds. But almost every animal says, “Neigh.” I might have to make her a “Neigh” card for her birthday.

~3~

Last weekend we had one of those unusual spring days where there was snow on the ground, but the air was warm. Daniel’s shoes were covered in mud, so I had taken them off when we climbed into the car to drive home.

When we got home, he asked me whether he could walk barefoot through the snow. It seemed a little crazy, but…sometimes doing something that’s different is fun. And I have never heard of anyone who got sick from walking barefoot in the snow.



So he did, and he laughed the whole way across the yard.

~4~

I baked hundreds of crab-shaped cookies this week. At work we’re gearing up for a huge event. The Today Show is scheduled to come to campus next week as our students and others in our community try to break a world record for the most crab walkers. We are promoting it on campus, so I baked cookies.




I found the cutters on Amazon—where else do I shop these days?—and they turned out to be really cute. Some of the claws fell off, but that happens with real crabs, so I figured it just made them more authentic.

The cookies were well-received, but half of them fell on the floor when I dropped them while trying to talk on the phone while balancing the cookies on my other arm. When I told the colleague on the other end what had happened, she said, “It must be hard to balance work and being a mom.”

“Oh,” I said, “I mean, it can be, but the cookies were actually for work, too.”

I really do have a fantastic job.

~5~

When Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., came to speak at Loyola University Maryland earlier this week, he left me with so much to think about. He’s a Jesuit who works with former gang members in Los Angeles, and I have heard him speak before.




"No one goes to the margins to rescue anybody,” he said. “But if we go to the margins everyone gets rescued.”

Fr. Boyle is a man who has such a sense of purpose and such a sense of joy. When one member of the audience asked him when he knew he was supposed to give up his life, I loved his answer: “I don't think I was ever called to give up my life. The invitation was to gain it. The invitation was to joy.”

~6~

For St. Joseph’s Feast Day, we made sloppy joes. I don’t know why we don’t have them more often since everyone here seems to like them. And they are such an easy meal.




I’m afraid that is the only meal I made this week because we ate mainly at my parents’ house—yay for out-of-town cousins who are visiting on their spring break—and because I think we might have snagged dinner two days in a row from Wawa’s.

That’s what we do, though, when we have to go to the school science fair, and it starts at 6 p.m.

“Can we bring food into the science fair?” one of the boys asked.

“I don’t see why not,” I said. So we did. And the boys ate a soft pretzel and hard-boiled eggs while looking at the Play-doh food our first-grader had made to show the different food groups.




You can probably recognize the carrot and maybe the strawberries. The grain portrayed is pasta, the protein is a meatball, and the dairy is an ice cream cone.

~7~

Every now and then I get to Mass on a weekday, and today I made it to Maryland Day Mass at Loyola. Tomorrow is Maryland Day, which is also the Feast of the Annunciation.




The Annunciation is one of my favorite feasts because it reminds me of how we learned we would become parents—through a phone call. I wrote about that here.

This week we celebrated the sixth anniversary of the day we first saw Daniel’s photo when we were matched with him. You truly can fall in love with a photo—and we did.

Read more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and please keep Cardinal William Keeler and all those who are grieving his passing in your prayers.


3/24/2017 10:15:12 PM
By Rita Buettner